WHAT IS ESTATE PLANNING?
Estate planning is the process of determining the value (or future value) of all of your assets and creating a plan to ensure that these assets are passed on in the manner that you desire.
A basic estate plan generally consists of a Will, Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy and a Living Will. If there are minor children a slightly more complex will is created to provide safe guards for the financial and day to day life of the minor children. Some more complex plans call for trusts or deeds to be prepared.
I start with a relatively brief consultation where we discuss the major assets and objectives of the estate. We also discuss who should be named as personal representative, power of attorney, health care proxy, etc.After the first or sometimes second meeting I create a draft of the estate documents and send them to you for review. At the final meeting the documents are once again thoroughly explained and ultimately signed in the presence of two disinterested witnesses.
WHO SHOULD HAVE AN ESTATE PLAN?
Everybody. Even the most simple estate plan, with little or no assets, helps ease the burden of loved ones in deciding how to best carry out the wishes of the deceased. For example: cremation or burial? Who gets that certain piece of jewelry, the stamp collection or even the set of tools? For those who have a sizeable estate, an estate plan is imperative to make sure the assets of the estate go to loved ones and not to the state or federal government.